@mittensmorgul and I got into a discussion about reading the subtext of season 12 so far and as usual I drifted straight to my “shipping moment” of horrified realisation I’d not been paying any attention to what had been under my nose since season 4… Obviously I’ve crammed Dean and Mary in there platonically and this isn’t a Destiel meta per say but I’m never not going to mention how Metatron nearly added ME to the body count of season 9 as why these words mean so much to me :P
Anyway, in times of trouble Robbie Thompson comes to us, speaking words of wisdom:
METATRON What makes a story work? Is it the plot, the characters, the text? The subtext? And who gives a story meaning? Is the writer? Or you?
Tonight, I thought I would tell you a little story and let you decide.
I think Robbie comes firmly down on the side of “you” - the author is dead, long live the fandom - if we look at his contribution to the show as a whole. Or, you know, analyse how Metatron is literally giving us/Cas the chance to decide the answer himself, ironically immediately making it our/his decision that gives the story meaning.
Specifically for season 12, Mittens and I were talking about expectations, and those that we build up - I’m using a general “we” here but of course everyone has their own interpretations, and to be honest we were prodding at the mixed and sometimes fearful or disappointed reactions we’ve been seeing around on our dashes about character development (specifically Dean, probably not ALL to blame on the apparent immediate regression to projecting about chick flicks and assuming they’ll die young and bloody because that’s not the first time some people have been worried about Dean’s perpetual character regression this season, but 12x06 having some apparently strong examples hasn’t helped)
I feel like the way we give the story meaning ourselves, in the way we read the plot and characters and text has, ironically, over the years sometimes got into a “the story became the story” way in our readings. I know my instinct on some things immediately is to leap to a conclusion based on what would have happened in seasons past, and the episode itself proves me wrong before the end. Mittens said this about trying to analyse it:
Assuming the show is following all the old formats [re: narrative patterns that never led to development] and attempting to hit the exact same development beats that it typically has in the past.. I don’t think that works anymore.
And then I started talking about Dabb putting his cards on the table with 11x23, which set me wondering about season 12 so far, and I remembered Dean and Mary’s silent exchange over the backseat of the Impala.
This has been meta’d to death already about Dean’s expectations of her being shattered, but I suddenly find it really important as well just for the fact it was all done in silent delivery (which I think was ALSO meta’d about immediately after the episode just for the joy of subtext as you needed to be able to read between the lines to understand what passed between them). Now we have a bit more season 12 to work with, I like this moment all the more because of its importance in the overall way we - or Dean - should be looking at the story - or Mary - right now. Metatron is just here to remind us that this story is told so much in subtext and our important role in reading it to find what is important to us.
Mary’s look tells Dean something new - something he never actually imagined or even thought of before, but suddenly it’s unmistakably there in the “text” of his life and he has to adapt his thoughts to it and accept the way the story of Mary has changed with new info. With Mary existing on screen, given how little we ever had of her before despite her importance, with a blank slate pretty much everything she does is new and exciting and shakes up the past image of her. I think discovering her hunting in 1980 is the most important instance of outright showing the way the story is being re-written around her to completely defy expectations and to present an entirely new narrative.
On the wider scale, when it comes to all our other characters and plot stuff, I think it’s interesting to look at what Mary means for her part of the story, and how it could apply everywhere. That the story may look superficially like what we expect of it, and to be fitting patterns of what came before - but actually the narrative is extremely disruptive and not telling us the same things that came before.
It’s making me very skittish about plot speculation, especially for the emotional arcs, but since 11x23 I’ve been certain Dabb era can’t regress the characters and doesn’t really WANT to since Dean found a different, better way to resolve the conflict peacefully. Of course he’s still Dean so he’s not going to transform into a new person overnight, but there have been positive signs, some of which are simultaneously being read as negative signs… which is how we ended up here in the first place.
This is a v sad notice that the queue has run empty probably because the wifi wouldn’t let me do anything and/or my dumbass forgot to put stuff in it
There’s also a chance that I haven’t gotten around to making new content as well
Anyway could one of you scream at me so I could get my shit together real quick? Tyvm ilu